Expressing Out Confidence in Korean
Intensive Korean Writing Class for international students
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“I have a Korean presentation a few weeks later, and I have no idea how to prepare for it.” This is a common concern among international students in Hanyang University (HYU). Along with the increasing number of international students in HYU, various programs are being created to help these students. The Intensive Korean Writing Class (IKWC) is a special program made solely for international students by the Center for Creative Convergence Education, for those having problems writing in academic Korean. News H attended the first class of the second semester to take a closer look.
IKWC, a stepping stone for international students
As international students in HYU, they inevitably have to go through an obstacle of a language barrier. This could happen both in daily living and in lectures. However, a lot of these students recall their Korean assignments as the most difficult. When writing, various literacy expressions along with the correct grammar have to be considered. This makes writing for the international students a cause for repulsion. “Grammatical problems aren’t the only problems international students go through. They have difficulties with applying the unique traits only Korean has. I try my hardest to teach them these characteristics so that they could freely use them in their assignments,” commented Oh Se-jin, a lecturer from the IKWC.
“The most important element when writing is considering the reader. In your cases, it would be the professor,” Oh started off. She explained the overall curriculum of the class, dividing writing into the distinction of the literary and colloquial style to writing reports and resumes. The lecturer kindheartedly gave similarities and differences between Korean and the students’ mother tongue. “I believe that both spoken and written words have the power to move a person. So I tend to emphasize sincere writing and speaking when I teach. I wish the students would not fear writing in Korean by the time this class is over,” said Oh.
Various reasons have brought these international students with different nationalities to this class. Zhang Yang Yi (Business Administration, 1st year) from China explained, “I don’t have any difficulties when writing in Chinese. I can write in long sentences including all I want to say, but it’s the opposite in Korean. I simply can’t think of what I should write when writing a report in Korean.” Another Chinese student, Zuo Jia Yu also expressed that she had difficulties with her vocabulary. “I first started learning Korean two years ago when I first entered this university. I had problems with Korean grammar and vocabulary during lectures, so I intend to improve my vocabulary skills through this class.”
The Center for Creative Convergence Education
Behind this helpful program, a lot of effort was made by the Communications Clinic in the Center for Creative Convergence Education. This Clinic was constructed in 2012 to develop the Hanyangians’ creativity and their communicative competency. This center manages not only this IKWC, but also various programs such as the communication clinic, future humanities forum, debate competitions, English film festival, and English quiz nights. The communication clinic is the foundation of IKWC, allowing all Hanyangians to receive help in four languages – Korean, English, Chinese and Spanish. This center is working hard for the improvement of creativity and communication skills, and a lot of students are receiving help from it.
The IKWC made its first step last year, made by the request of the Office of International Affairs, due to the need for academic help for international students as HYU is a globalized university. International students require a certain ability with their Korean writing skills to proceed with their academics in HYU; therefore, there was a need for a program that could help them get to a certain extent in their writing of Korean. The first year of the IKWC, therefore, came to an end with great satisfaction for international students. This second IKWC this year is already almost full of students wishing to improve their Korean skills, and they have started their first class off successfully.
Chan Puthearath from Cambodia commented, “I have a Korean presentation two weeks later, and I wish I can prepare it well to give a great presentation. I don’t want to be a harm to my Korean teammates, and I will do my best!” Anyone who is in need of help with their language skills, whether it is Korean, English, Chinese or Spanish, can freely visit this clinic and receive help. Why don’t you visit the clinic and express your confidence in the language you wish?
On Jung-yun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kang Cho-hyun
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